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    Monday
    Jun182012

    Trenchfoot Art

    It seems that owning a good pair of shoes is the prime requirement for an Artophile nowadays… and I don’t just mean in order to look cool  - though I try to do  that too of course. Along with an umbrella, a will of iron, and a certain resolute determination not to be beaten by the weather, this summer I have had to rely heavily upon my favourite (and trusty) pair of rubber soled black suede Bally’s: bought for a fortune about ten years ago (good shoes don’t come cheap) they have cushioned me through appalling weather from Italy to Istanbul, over pietradura and muddy fields,   and still they  beg for more.….. so my top tip of the year is  Sensible Shoes --– smart enough to slide unceremoniously into society, and tough enough to survive Trenchfoot.

    Someone somewhere should make an inroad into shoe design department and come up with a unisex leather weatherproof shoe that can be washed and scrubbed and brushed back to life ready for the morrow. Is that Prada?

    The state of the nation is reflected in its cruddy footwear. I have an endless fascination at how shoes tell so much about a person.  So much so that at a wedding in Oxfordshire recently I found myself taking photographs of the vain and indulgent, the inappropriate and threadbare, the sometimes stylish but usually inelegant  - just for the hell of it.  It started on a soggy lawn with tottering-by-ladies keeling gently over into the tent, and culminated on a squelching sisal and woodchip walkway at Garsington Opera  - honestly it’s time to leave the the Jimmy’s to Posh in Beverly and Palm!

    It was Tempest at the Serpentine Summer Pavilion opening last week  and we were all completely washed away – not least by the sheer originality of the pavilion design (Herzog and de Meuron of Tate claim) and Weiwei’s ‘earthy’ archaeological floor.  The brilliance is in the wonderfully soft acoustic of non slip cork  - finally someone has had the good sense to move on from the 1970’s builders merchant floor tiles and use cork to full effect as a wrap around chocolate brown surface veneer. Check out the moveable giant champagne corks (seating) and  the Serpentine summer program  - it’s Yoko  Ono on tap.

    This week ‘s been more country antics: if you want energizing, and own a decent pair of shoes then visit On Form in the heavenly gardens at Asthall Manor, near Burford. You need a keen eye: round every bush and briar is stone sculpture – all shapes and sizes: Paul Vanstone’s impressive Cararra marble heads, Anthony Turner’s Brazilian bean pods, and Emily Young’s Maremma men. Alternatively try   the Wapping Project on June 26th to hear Emily in conversation with Angela Palmer: it’s a great venue.

    For the curious amongst you late June is for Art School Post Grad and Degree Shows. This is the hot way to spot emerging talent: RA Schools/ RCA/ Slade /London Institute of Arts (Chelsea/ Central St Martins/Goldsmiths) Ruskin, and others all over the country. Ten minutes whizzing through invariably becomes two hours of delight at the extraordinary initiative and endless creativity of students. All free, so take yr chequebook.

    NM - TomaxMum

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    Reader Comments (4)

    The state of the nation is reflected in its cruddy footwear

    June 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterfootwear

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    For the curious amongst you late June is for Art School Post Grad and Degree Shows. This is the hot way to spot emerging talent: RA Schools/ RCA/ Slade /London Institute of Arts (Chelsea/ Central St Martins/Goldsmiths) Ruskin, and others all over the country. Ten minutes whizzing through invariably becomes two hours of delight at the extraordinary initiative and endless creativity of students. All free, so take yr chequebook.

    November 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJ

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